Tag Archives: Digital Publishing

Literacy in a Digital Age | Beanstalk Event

Beanstalk are a nationwide charity dedicated to helping child literacy in the UK by sending trained volunteers into schools to read with them. We think this is really special which is why Beanstalk are Atwood Tate’s chosen charity. When they hosted a panel discussion on the topic of Literacy in a Digital Age, Anna went along to find out more.

In the news, recent headlines have decried a decline in the vocabulary of primary school children that has taken place in the last decade. Perhaps there is a correlation in the rise of portable technology. By using the best affordable technology to support provision to schoolchildren Beanstalk are hoping to improve national literacy levels. A new trial scheme has Amazon staff members Skyping school settings to bring voluntary reading support to remote locations it would be difficult to reach in person.

From the left: Ginny Lunn (CEO of Beanstalk), Andrew Franklin (Panel Chair; Publisher, Profile Books), Dame Julia Cleverdon (Chair of the National Literacy Trust), Francesca Simon (Author of Horrid Henry series), Prof Teresa Cremin (Head of Education at Open University), Dr Nicola Yuill (Director of Children and Technology Lab, Sussex University)

Smartphones and tablets can be a distraction, potentially leading to a lack of long-term concentration. The panel were asked whether technology could help teachers support reading or indeed help reading levels in general. The outlook was generally positive.

Comments ranged from 0-3 year olds being encouraged by tablets; the interactivity and personalisation a story with the aid of technology engaged otherwise reluctant readers; Prof Teresa drew attention to audio supplements and the digital book apps by Nosy Crow; text-based computer games can also expand a player’s vocabulary. Learning to read can be hard – and technology by its very nature is non-judgemental.

Francesca pointed out that her market is 5-8 year olds and ebooks account for less than 1% of her royalties. A parent downloading a portable copy of a book their child already has. Children still like physical books the panel agreed. How much of that is cultural habit future generations will discover.

Studies show that children are more likely to share an open book than a tablet or phone screen Dr Nicola explained, although phones for us are private and personal. Any discussion therefore needs to include frank conversations about how we interact with technology in society. The panel concluded that literacy is about more than just reading. It is about sharing ideas, stories, interests and enjoyment. Part of what Beanstalk does so well is connecting children with adults who will encourage them to read what interests them.

The ideal is to interact through the technology, not with the technology. We just haven’t got there yet. Nursery rhymes have incredible potential and replicating the anticipation with a picture book, with gaps for words and interaction may well be possible with the mediated experience delivered by technology. This could help in home environments where adults cannot sit and read with a child for ten minutes a day.

Other things discussed included the dearth of reading aloud as it is not included in school targets. The audience contributed to the conversation too and acknowledged the scale afforded by technology as it can reach more people, bringing together a community of shared readers; social media can suggest books suitable for a certain age group to busy parents.

When 1 in 4 children do not own a book of their own in the UK and public libraries are closing it is easy to think that access to books is the only problem but technology can give access. The other major issues are generating the desire to read and knowledge of what is available. Technology is the tool, not an answer in itself.

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Byte the Book | Buzz Words: How Can You Build a Community Around Your Content

Last night I attended Byte the Book’s event on marketing and building a community around your content, sponsored by Bookswarm. As Atwood Tate’s Social Media Coordinator, I found the talk from industry leaders and influencers really interesting.

We gathered in the chapel at the House of St Barnabas (a not-for-profit private members’ club working against homelessness), which was a beautiful if unconventional venue. The wine I’d bought not long before had to be quickly finished off as we couldn’t bring alcohol into the chapel. As I sat on a hard wooden pew, I drafted a tweet with an image of the chapel, which I immediately had to delete upon being told the crucifix hanging over the alter was in fact copyrighted.

the chapel and full audience waiting for the discussion to begin

The chapel sans crucifix

At any other panel talk, the audience being glued to their phones throughout would be considered rude. At a digital marketing discussion, it’s encouraged, with live updates from the #BytetheBook hashtag projected on to the screen behind the speakers.

Digital Marketing Tips from the Panellists

Lysanne Currie, a journalist and digital strategist, chaired the discussion. She began by asking Laura Lindsay, Director of Global Communications at Lonely Planet, about the community of travellers Lonely Planet has built online and offline. Lindsay recounts how Lonely Planet started its online community in the 1990s by sharing letters from their readers. They were one of the first brands on Twitter, and built their following by sharing content from their community of travellers, not just sharing marketing materials. Building an online community, she says, is no different to building a ‘real world’ community.

Children’s author Piers Torday notes the barriers to connecting directly with readers online when those readers are children, so he embeds himself in distinct communities of parents, librarians and teachers. These are the gatekeepers and the people who buy children’s books. He also discusses the differences between content on different platforms. Twitter, he says, is great for conversations. Instagram is best for curated storytelling.

Leena Normington, YouTuber and Social Media Producer at Vintage Books, advises the audience to choose what platform(s) work for you, and not worry about using every platform. She notes the different demographics engaging with different media – for example podcasts tend to have a slightly older and more male audience than YouTube videos. She also emphasises treating your online audience as real people, not only as viewers or subscribers.

The panellists agree that the key to a great social media presence is to be consistent and to be genuine. Have a schedule for uploading content and show who you are as a person, rather than just marketing your book. Try new things and experiment, see what works for you and it’s okay to stop if it’s not working.

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Best Book and Publishing-Related Podcasts

When I’m not listening to an audiobook on my way to work, I love listening to podcasts – especially ones about books and publishing! It’s no secret that the audio sector is growing, whether through audiobook services like Audible, Kobo or Google Play, or through the rise of podcasts. Here are a few of my favourite book and publishing-related listens:

1)    Mostly Lit

A weekly books and pop-culture podcast from Alex Reads, Rai, and Derek Owusu. Aimed at a millennial audience, this is a fun and accessible podcast that promotes reading as something for everyone to enjoy. It makes reading cool again, discussing books alongside films and TV.

You can find them on Twitter @MostlyLit

2)    Minorities in Publishing

This publishing industry podcast from Jenn Baker interviews publishing professionals as well as authors and others related to the industry about diversity (or the lack thereof) in book publishing.

You can find them here: http://minoritiesinpublishing.tumblr.com/

3)    BBC Radio 4 Books and Authors

BBC Radio 4 hosts a number of high quality book podcasts, which include interviews with high-profile authors and public figures. It tends to focus on more literary fiction. Harriett Gilbert hosts A Good Read, where she discusses people’s favourite books. Recent episodes feature Ruby Tandoh, Nicola Sturgeon, and Stephen Fry. Also see Radio 4’s other podcasts – Bookclub and Short Story in particular are worth a listen.

Download Books and Authors here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrsfl/episodes/downloads

4)    Guardian Books

Similar in tone to the Radio 4 podcasts, the Guardian’s version is a weekly show hosted by Claire Armistead, Richard Lea, and Sian Cain with interviews and discussions about latest book trends and themes. Recent episodes cover LGBT must-reads and Helen Dunmore’s posthumous Costa prize.

Find all episodes here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/series/books

5)    Time Literary Supplement – Freedom, Books, Flowers & the Moon

This weekly podcast from the TLS takes its name from the Oscar Wilde quotation, ‘With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?’ Stig Abell, Thea Lenarduzzi and Lucy Dallas are joined by special guests and discuss articles from the week’s edition of the magazine, covering literature and related topics, including politics, culture, language and history.

All episodes are on their website and can be found here: https://www.the-tls.co.uk/podcast-freedom-books-flowers-moon/

6)    Book Riot

Book Riot is well worth a listen for their accessible discussions of book-related news. There is a notable American bias, but any global publisher today will want to keep up with what’s happening in the book world over the pond.

Find it on the Book Riot website (and while you’re there, it’s also worth taking a look at the other content on there!): https://bookriot.com/listen/shows/thepodcast/

Let us know in the comments or on social media what you’ve been listening to recently!

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Tips for Video Interview Success

Video interviews are becoming increasingly popular. They may take two forms: they may be conducted via Skype or a similar platform, where you talk in real-time to an interviewer, or they may involve recording answers to pre-set questions without the presence of an interviewer. The former is similar to a face-to-face interview, although there are a few things you should watch out for. The latter may feel more unnatural if you haven’t done one before, but remember everyone is in the same boat and there is nothing to worry about!

Our Top Tips for Success in your Video Interview

  • Make sure you won’t be interrupted. Remember that video interview on the BBC that went viral when the interviewees children came bursting into the background? Interviewers will probably understand if something like that happens, but it’s likely to throw you off your game! Make sure your children, pets, roommates etc. are aware of what you’re doing and are kept out of the room. You don’t want your cat walking all over your keyboard in the middle of the interview!
  • Use a plain background – a plain wall is ideal. You don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by the stack of laundry in the background or your unusual taste in posters.
  • If it’s a Skype interview, make sure you check your webcam and microphone are working well before your scheduled interview time. Call a friend or family member to check, and to help calm your nerves.
  • If you have to record your answers, make sure you practice and listen to yourself back a couple of times. Without the presence of an interviewer, it’s easy to feel awkward and that can come across in the recording. Practising will help you feel more natural.
  • Dress smartly – as you would for a face-to-face interview – and not just on the top half. You’ll feel more in the interview ‘zone’ as well as coming across more professional.
  • Look at the camera, not yourself. This will give an appearance of eye contact, otherwise you’ll appear to be looking down.
  • Relax – you’ve got this!

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PPA IPN Conference & Awards

The annual Independent Publisher Conference and Awards Ceremony 2017. We are very proud to be sponsoring the event and hope to see you there!

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London Info International 5 – 6 Dec 2017

Next week is the London Info International conference and exhibition at The Business Design Centre, Islington. Atwood Tate will be exhibiting for the first time so we hope to see you there. Anyone can book a FREE place for the exhibition now so invite your colleagues and industry friends! (Entry is free if you pre-register)

London Info International (LII) is a conference for the information industry with a diverse set of world leading speakers who will discuss and debate the most important and pertinent topics affecting us.

There are over 40 different speakers from the widest range of disciplines, organisations and geographies with top keynotes including:

  • Ziyad Marar, President, Global Publishing, Sage Publishing
  • Alfred Rolington, CEO Cyber Security Intelligence
  • Danny Kingsley, Deputy Director of Scholarly Communication University Library, University of Cambridge, Head of Scholarly Communications, University of Cambridge
  • Nicola Jones, Head of Publishing for Grand Challenges, Springer Nature
Themes:

The conference will cover all the main themes affecting information professionals today, including: Facing the realities of uncertainty. New tribes, changing realities. The AI and machine learning renaissance – a revolution in the waiting? Dispatches from the university publishing revolution. Meet the upstarts – the publishing start-ups challenging the status quo. Valuing truth in the age of fake. Birth of the new infotech. Whose research is it anyway? Open science, open futures? Welcome to the new impact.

See the full Conference programme and speakers here.

There will also be Showfloor presentations including sessions on includes sessions on Rights, Counter, Copyright, Text and Data Mining, Scientific Research and Education, Content and Technologies.

And look out for the ‘Disruptor Zone’ (a competitive event designed to offer start-ups, vendors and publishers the opportunity to showcase their newest and most innovative products, platforms and/or content).

Exhibitors will be across the industry showcasing the best of scholarly, research and professional publishing, tools, technologies and service providers.

You can prebook for ‘Scheduled Networking’! There is a 1hr session each day where you will be given the opportunity to spend a few minutes with organisations of your choice to exchange business cards and have a brief discussion which can be extended on their stand or another meeting set up. Click here to sign up.

And lastly, there’s an Event app so you can plan your visit and for up to date news on-site. Book meetings, sessions programmes, Exhibitors list, floorplan, reminders and more! Available from 29th November.

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Beanstalk and Reading Matters have joined forces!

We were delighted to hear that Beanstalk who we’ve been supporting for the last 7 years has now merged with another literacy charity, Reading Matters. This will allow them to support even more children and young people and help them to achieve their 2020 vision of working with 30,000 children.

The aim of the charity is to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds gain confidence in reading. Beanstalk provides 1-1 reading support to children in primary schools and early years, Reading Matters covers secondary schools so this is a great combination.

In 2016-17 Reading Matters helped 6,497 children and young people while Beanstalk worked with 11,000 children over the same period.

About Beanstalk

  • Beanstalk is a national charity that provides one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading.
  • The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in primary schools.
    Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers transform the lives of the children they support, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers.
  • In the last school year the charity helped over 11,000 children across England, in over 1,400 schools, with the help of over 3,000 reading helpers, ensuring children have the skills and confidence to reach their true potential.
  • By 2020-21 Beanstalk aims to help 30,000 children every year, with 8,000 volunteers.

About Reading Matters

  • Reading Matters is a registered charity and not-for-profit social enterprise which began in 1997. Since then, the charity has supported tens of thousands of young people.
  • In 2016/17, Reading Matters supported 6,497 children and young people and on average increased reading ages by 13 months in just 10 weeks.
  • The charity runs a range of programmes: Reading Mentors, Reading Leaders, Reading Families and Reading Teams. They provide schools with a resource box of reading materials that will engage and encourage reluctant readers.
  • Reading Matters’ social mission is to help children, young people and adults to reach their potential by becoming confident and enthusiastic readers.

More info:

www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

and check out the Bookseller article: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/beanstalk-and-reading-matters-merge-664681

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PPA IPN Conference & Awards 2017

We’re very excited to be attending the PPA IPN Conference & Awards on 28th November – all the details about the day can be found here: http://www.ppa.co.uk/events/ipn2017

Karine and Kellie will be attending the morning conference which is always hugely informative with a great line up of talks including key industry trends, events, GDPR, developing subscriptions and media models of the future. We’re looking forward to the round table – we’ll be hosting the one focussed on Talent (we do know a thing or 2 about this!). 

Good luck to all the nominees – for a full list of the Awards and all those shortlisted check out: http://www.ppa.co.uk/en/Events/IPN2017/Awards We’re pleased to be sponsoring the award for Editor of the Year!

Here at Atwood Tate, we work closely with many independent publishers across a wide range of markets and sectors. Coming from publishing backgrounds ourselves, we understand the culture and ethos of all our clients – one of our favourite parts of the job is getting to know people and building lasting relationships. That and of course working with our candidates to help them find the right job and develop their careers.

We hope to see you at the conference and awards and do get in touch if you have any Talent / recruitment queries in the meantime.

#PPAIPA

Karine Nicpon, Lead Consultant

t: 020 7034 7905

e: karinenicpon@atwoodtate.co.uk

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/karine-nicpon

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Rave Technologies Conference 02/10/17

On Monday 2nd October, Karine and I attended the Annual Publishing Conference 2017 hosted by Rave Technologies.

As per normal, it was an interesting conference with the chance to meet like-minded people within publishing.

The Morning

The morning session of the conference consisted of the following:

  • Max Gabriel, Chief Technology Officer at Taylor & Francis, talking about the changing rules of economy, with the digital landscape shifting power from supply to demand.
  • Chris Marker from The IET presented a case study on AI.
  • Prabhash Shrestha from the Independent Community Bankers of America was next with an entertaining speech on digital transformation from a non-publishing viewpoint.
  • John Haynes, CEO at AIP Publishing talked about innovation in a journal and data hybrid.
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Christian Kohl, on AI in publishing: applications, potentials and constraints. The panel included Daniel Ecer – Data Scientist at eLife Sciences Publications, Ian Mulvany – Head of Product Innovation at Sage, Prabhash Shrestha from the ICBA and Christopher Marker – Lead Taxonomist at The IET.

Following this was lunch with a chance of networking.

The Afternoon

In the afternoon of the conference, there were the follwoing sessions:

  • Ian Mulvany, Head of Product Innovation at Sage, talked about managing innovation.
  • Liz Bradshaw and Kunal Ahluwalia of Elsevier discussed data-driven product development.
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Microbiology Society, on Agile/lean and their wider impact on publishing.
  • And the final talk was delivered by Andrew Vorster, Innovation Consultant, advising on the art and science igniting innovation initiatives.

 

See you all next year!

 

David Martin (AIRP)
Senior Consultant (Technology, Digital, Change & Transformation, Data & Analytics Nationwide)

Tel: 020 7034 7850
Email: davidmartin@atwoodtate.co.uk

 

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Guest Post: What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

We are thrilled to bring you a guest post on our blog from Jessica Edwards, as she reflects her thoughts on the BookMachine’s recent event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’.

What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

Thoughts from BookMachine’s latest event

‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’

By Jessica Edwards

The Jam Factory, Oxford, 7 September 2017

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Last Thursday, as I trundled slowly towards Oxford (kicking myself for accidentally catching a slow train – who knew there were quite so many stations between Reading and Oxford?!) I wondered what was in store at BookMachine’s latest event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’. Arriving at The Jam Factory, I scanned the room of busily-networking people and took a deep breath. Although I’ve now worked in publishing for over 2 years, and always enjoy chatting to inspired publishing-types, a few seconds of panic always descends when, turning from the table of beverages, glass in hand, the reality hits that one must shuffle into a group at random and strike up a conversation. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to approach two lovely individuals from Atwood Tate – Claire Louise Kemp and Alice Crick. Not only were they extremely friendly, our conversation (and Claire Louise spotting me scribbling notes during the panel discussion) led to the suggestion, offer, and composition of this blog post!

My name’s Jess Edwards, and I’m currently Marketing Executive at Gale, a Cengage Company. Gale creates digital resources (from journal and eBook databases to digital archives) for academic, special, school and government libraries worldwide. Consequently, when the advert for BookMachine’s scholarly publishing seminar popped into my inbox, it not only looked interesting but extremely relevant to my current position, and I quickly purchased an early-bird ticket!

There were four engaging speakers on the panel. Phill Jones, Director of Innovation at Digital Science, a company who invest and nurture research start-ups creating software to aid scientific research; Charlie Rapple, Sales & Marketing Director and co-founder of Kudos, a platform which increases research impact by driving discovery and facilitating the sharing of academic work; Byron Russell, Head of Ingenta Connect, a publisher-facing content management system that enables publishers to convert, store and deliver digital content; and Duncan Campbell, Director of Digital Licensing and Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, ranked ninth on the Publisher’s Weekly list of the world’s 50 largest publishers, 2017. Bringing together speakers (and an audience) from both large, established publishers and newer, often technology-based start-ups, led to some interesting discussion on the relationships between the two; the responsibilities of each; and whether one or the other is best placed to cope with the disruptive forces in publishing – or themselves be disruptive.

The discussion generated by the panel was wide-ranging and insightful, broadening my understanding of the challenges, relationships and roles in publishing beyond my own. It made me think more deeply about the hugely influential and clearly disruptive issues looming over the industry, as well as the ideas and innovations which currently exist around the edges of the industry, meeting niche requirements today, but which could, in time, disrupt, engulf or evolve the whole publishing landscape.

Insights and topics of discussion that I found particularly intriguing include:

  • The symbiotic relationship between start-ups and established publishers

The opening discussion about innovation in publishing included the suggestion that it is more difficult for established companies to innovate – something easier for new-comers. However, there was also an agreement that innovation is a necessity at every tier of the industry. The conversation moved on to the common practice of publishers supporting innovation elsewhere; encouraging and funding the technological start-ups often responsible for floating fresh new ideas. The arguments were put forward that these start-ups rely on funding and support from the publishing establishment, who had a responsibility to nurture them. Yet the establishment in turn rely on the innovation of the start-ups for their own development and evolution – often acquiring them down-the-line as part of their innovation strategy – thus the relationship could be described as cyclical or symbiotic.

  • Piracy V. Green OA

Although I was relatively familiar with the term ‘Open Access’, I was not with ‘Green OA’. (This was one of the things I was inspired to google following the event, and consequently am now aware of both green and gold OA!) Reference to green OA was made in discussion of the threat and disruptive nature of piracy in the publishing industry. There was also consideration of how attitudes towards sharing have changed over time – and where the fine line now sits between piracy and OA. It was suggested that in the past, if one academic was to email an article to another based elsewhere, it would have been seen by publishers as an infringement of copyright. Now, perceptions of sharing have evolved, with the industry instead taking an observational approach; monitoring such behaviours with the intent to better understand the market. The distinction was made, however, and agreed upon unanimously by the panel, that sharing on a need-to-know basis remains different from mass-uploads by networks such as Sci-Hub. Yet it was also recognised that such ‘dark’ enterprises are also examples of innovation forcing the publishing industry to evolve. The disruptive impact of such ‘dark’ innovation was nicely summarised by Phill Jones: ‘It has forced the agenda, but at the same time, it’s not the solution.’

It’s testament to how packed, insightful and content-rich the discussion was that I could go on…! However, this blog post is already heading towards classification as a tome, so I won’t elaborate on the other interesting discussions, though will squeeze in that these included the impact of new business models such as ‘Netflix for journal articles’(!), how a trend towards trans-disciplinary research and developments in research evaluation will affect publishing, and the future of Discovery Systems.

All-in-all, I highly recommend anyone interested in learning more about a particular area of publishing, or the industry in general, goes along to a BookMachine event. Absorb what the experts have to say – it will almost certainly come in useful in the not-so-distant future – and meander your way into a conversation during the networking drinks – who knows what connections you’ll make, you might even end up writing a blog post for somebody!

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

Nb. All views are my own, and not those of Gale, Atwood Tate, or BookMachine. If I have misrepresented any of the discussion or speakers’ arguments, this is down to my own misunderstanding.

Twitter @Jessica2Edwards

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicaedwards1/

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